article written by Peru Elguezabal (Tecnalia)

The technologies based on solar energy and heat pumps developed within the Heat4Cool project are being implemented in Tecnalia’s Kubik® facility, located in Bilbao (Spain).

In the facility, Tecnalia is testing the thermal storage system coupled with a reversible heat pump and the solar driven adsorption cooling system.

The main aim of these tests is to carry out a proof of concept for two complete systems in order to assess the thermal performance of Heat4Cool solutions under realistic boundary conditions. These two systems are already connected to the centralized HVAC system to test the effective integration of the heating and cooling technologies.

The thermal storage system coupled by a reversible heat pump is the concept solution developed by Sunamp. A total of 7 PCM (Phase change material) heat storages connected to an air to water electric heat pump have been installed. This is the first version of the system that will later evolve to a DC driven heat pump connected to a PV panel field, a solution that will be implemented in the pilot buildings of Sofia and Chorzow. The system to be tested in Kubik will allow improving the interaction between the heat pump and the heat storages while the contribution of the solar field will be post-processed.

Sunamp’s technology

The solar-driven adsorption cooling system has Fahrenheit’s Zeolite prototype chiller as the main innovative component. Combined together with a solar thermal field composed of flat plate collectors, the heat pump will produce cold water that will be stored into an 800L tank connected to the cooling circuit. As a result of the adsorption process, waste heat will be produced at medium temperature (35-40 °C), which will be used for preheating of domestic hot water or dissipated to the atmosphere by means of a dry cooler unit.

Preliminary tests have been performed for both sets and performance data of the components are being collected to evaluate the contribution and benefits of implementing both concepts.

Fahrenheit’s technology